Lecture by Ingrid Piller, October 7, 2005

Ladies from the Philippines are more compatible with American gentlemen than American women: The Linguistic Construction of Identities on
Mail-order-bride Websites

by Ingrid Piller, Professor and Chair, English Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of English as a Global Language English Department, Basel University, Switzerland

The “mail-order bride industry” has boomed in recent years, and the outsourcing of sexual, emotional, and reproductive labor it implies is often overlooked in accounts of globalization. However, its success is directly predicated upon at least three key aspects of globalization, namely increased international mobility, increased international data flows through new media, and increased international cultural exchange. In my talk, I will introduce these interrelationships, and then concentrate on the linguistic construction of identities on mail-order bride websites. It emerges that these narratives of cross-cultural romance are informed by heterosexist and orientalist ideologies, in which a future partner can only ever be an “Other”.

Friday, October 07, 2005
3-5pm, 370 Dwinelle Hall